Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad scored a century on Saturday, but it was in vain.

Unstoppable Gaikwad’s third century on the trot was not enough for Maharashtra, who lost their Vijay Hazare Trophy match against Kerala by four wickets.

Ruturaj Gaikwad smashed the third century in a row, but Maharashtra lost to Kerala by four wickets in their Vijay Hazare Trophy group D match in Rajkot on Saturday despite his efforts. He continued his scorching form with 124 off 129 balls as Maharashtra’s opener to help them recover from some early jitters when they lost two wickets for 22 in six overs. Suresh Vishweshar’s debutant seamer Suresh Vishweshar took out Gaikwad in the 46th over as he was trying to increase the run rate.

Their final-five total of 42 came up short as Maharashtra finished with 291/8 in the allotted 50 overs.

This time around, Kerala seamer M D Nidheesh stole the show with a five-wicket haul of 49, including a crucial wicket of the dangerous Rahul Tripathi.

It was a brilliant 195-run third-wicket partnership between the vice-captain of the Maharashtra team and his captain that helped the team recover from a collapse.

Both Suresh and Nidheesh had a hand in dismissing Naushad Shaikh for five as Maharashtra failed to break free of the 300-mark in the last overs.

Despite a nervous start, Vishnu Vinod’s 82-ball unbroken 100 helped Kerala recover from 4/35 in 10.3 overs (8×4, 2×6).

Sjomon Joseph provided a solid backbone with 71 not out of 70 balls (2×4, 4×6). The pair embarked on an unbeaten 174-run partnership to help the squad reach its target in 48.5 overs.

With 414 runs in three innings, Gaikwad’s case for selection for the South Africa one-day series has been bolstered even more.

Chennai Super Kings opener Gaikwad had a record-breaking performance in the IPL, scoring 635 runs in CSK’s run to the fourth title in the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Moeen Ali, Gaikwad was one of four players retained by CSK.

Scores in brief:

A four-wicket loss against Kerala 294/6 in 48.5 overs (Vishnu Vinod 100 not out, Simon Joseph 71 not out, Jalaj Saxena 44, Sanju Samson 42) ended the Maharashtra innings at 291/8 in 50 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 124, Rahul Tripathi 99; MD Nidheesh 5/49, Basil Thampi 2/56).

By 77 runs, Madhya Pradesh defeated Uttarakhand 330/7; 50 overs (Abhishek 106, Venkatesh Iyer 71, Shubham Sharma 70; Ankit Manor 2/50, Akash Madhwal 2/58, Agrim Tiwari 2/78) in the Indian Premier League.

Chandigarh 258; 48.2 overs (Manan Vohra 77, Arjit Pannu 54; Sourabh Majumdar 4/52, Sumit Ruikar 3/46) lost to Chhattisgarh 302/4; 50 overs (Harpreet Singh 113, Sanjeet Desai 106) by 44 runs.

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